UTFI presents its 2012 Collection of incomplete
and quirky fonts for public download and general use
Spyroclassic is one of the most successful typeface designs created purely from geometric shapes. The disparity in character width, as seen above in the banner, is typical of such fonts and demonstrates why our traditional alphabet is very much more than lines and circles. But a few variants work very well, especially at a medium weight, and this is one of them. Paired with Spyrogeometric with which it shares many letterforms.
Spyrogeometric is a "condensed" version of Spyroclassic. Wherever possible, circles have been replaced with half-circles, otherwise the letterforms remain the same. It offers a more contemporary appearance than the Thirties-inspired Classic style. Excellent for headlines, subheaders and other applications where space is at a premium.
Stamp is created from an office rubberstamp set. The letters were stamped onto a piece of slightly absorbant paper which was scanned. The irregularities remain providing more visual interest than is typical of other rubberstamp fonts. Stamp has been used very successfully in college flyers and postage stamp mock-ups. Even when condensed further by minimizing letterspace, it retains its officious but friendly character.
Snidane is inspired by printing seen on a breakfast menu in Prague. It appeared to be a version of Optima but none of the lowercase lettershapes were Optima. Taking the idea to an extreme, this font borrows the curved uprights to one side only giving a semi-italic appearance. The weight is commonly known as "Book" and Snidane is very suitable for copy text being extremely legible and a large x-height even though the letterforms are anything but traditional.
Santiako was developed after seeing lettering sculpted from or poured into concrete in Cuba. Honest, open and chunky shapes borrowing heavily from Art Deco of the 1930s. This font makes a good headliner for text set in Spyrogeometric because of the similar underlying theory of letterform contruction.
Sbayer is a slightly updated version of the Bauhaus classic monofont (no difference between capitals and lower case). Some of the letters have been altered slightly to provide a little variation, important for shape recognition when reading a passage of text. This font contains no numerals and sparse punctuation.
Sblock is derived from the typical stencil fonts with the improvement of joining all the letters. No gaps here! Upper case letters have sharp corners, lower case have rounded corners. Not difficult to turn into genuine stencil versions if necessary by slicing sections out.
Scable grew from just three letters drawn as a logo for a cable television company. Later expanded to the entire alphabet, this new version is accurately drawn and kerned to make sinuous and unique ligatures possible. The font and the logo both play on the fact that it is the uppermost half of letters which we read in the Latin alphabet. Cover the bottom half of a line of text with a sheet of paper and see if you can still read it. Of course you can! Now try hiding the top half instead. Not so easy, is it?
Siren also grew to an entire font from a logotype. The current version is several years old and will be tweaked and perfected in the near future. Futuristic letterforms in this font make for a surprisingly credible and legible look at what Bayer might have developed into if the 1930s had turned out differently.
Smerkan was scanned in from a poorly mimeographed American publication. It retains its legibility at very small sizes where it works best. Schoolbooks were often printed using this and similar fonts in the 1950s. It most resembles a bold version of Futura. If you are a Baby Boomer, a passage set in Smerkan will look somehow very familiar in a way you haven't seen for a while,
Snevil is a font inspired by and dedicated to the early work of Neville Brody on the now-defunct magazines FACE and Arena. The uppercase is the same x-height as the lowerr case. Perfect for a 1990s feel to headlines. Never before has so much typographical innovation been trashed so relentlessly as with this style. Even the Bauhaus lived on after its initiators were prevented from continuing their work. This post-industrialist style just died a death. It still looks neat though!
Spike started out as an inadvertant copy of the font Wyld by the Swedish typographer Andreas Pihlström. I had no idea that it existed as a font. I thought the shapes were interesting so I created an entire font. Andreas soon contacted me to tell me that I was violating his copyright. So I changed all the letters, with the possible exception of the O, and now we have two versions of this wyld and anarchaic font - Andreas' excellent professional version and my freebie. This one needs extensive manual kerning to get full advantage of the lettershapes.
Splektra is an exploration into the late 19th Century and the birth of grotesk fonts. Serifs were discarded as unwanted decoration leaving only the basic shape of the letter, most of which were grotesque in themselves. By recreating classic forms to fit modern sensibilities, the early explorers laid the foundations for Helvetica and Univers half a century later. Splektra is a result of a study into how modern type evolved. It works brilliantly as headline type when followed by a serif copy text.
Strzeminski was a Polish graphic artist who created a very odd alphabet in the early 1930s. Perhaps inpired by the Bauhaus movement and its attempts to simplify lettershapes, Strzeminski went one stage further and stripped them to the utter minimum distinguishable shapes required for letter recognition. I have updated his letters, extended his Polish alphabet, given them a modern sharp-edged look and created new punctuation and numerals. This is the only Latin font with two prominent baselines.
Stratford was created in exactly one hundred minutes within two weeks of the London Olympics logo being revealed accompanied by general derision. Only the most stunningly ugly typeface deserves to be paired with such an unfortunate design and so I drew Stratford. It should be used on all posters and information relating to the London Olympics because no decent typeface deserves the insult. It contains no numerals because they refused to take part.
Sfilth is the result of having an idea which doesn't really work and taking it to its logical conclusion against all better judgement and evidence to the contrary. In that sense, it reflects my professional working environments throughout the Nineties and halfway through the Noughties. I took a shape which really ought to have been dragged behind the woodshed and strangled and used it to create an entire font. It looks great on packaging for niche foods - think organically grown lactose-free feta - and on greetings cards for people you don't really like very much.
An art nouveau font based on a discovery in a Prague cemetery...
Stampere is a picture font created from a series of photos I took in Tampere, Finland's second largest city, in 2008. Most of the frames are of Tampere's old industrial buildings near the town centre which have been imaginatively renovated as art galleries, restaurants and the like.
Copyright 2011 Stephen Bird. UTFI fonts are free for personal use, but please ask permission for commercial work.
Website design by Shane Prendergast